Project Complete

Remember when I gave you a little teaser in this post of the project I was working on? I had been searching for the right night stand for quite a while when my in-laws found themselves with a bed side table they didn’t need anymore. I think they were a little confused as to why I wanted an old nightstand with rickety drawers, but they graciously humored me and allowed me to have it. It started out like this:

beforeI forgot to take a photo before the hardware came off, but you can see the outline of the old decorative brass pulls that were once a part of this gem. The stain had that yellowish tint to it that I can’t stand at all, but the construction was solid and I liked the basic design.

sandedWhat I didn’t anticipate is how long it would take to sand such a small piece of furniture! I worked on it over the course of three days, and my best guesstimate is about 10 hours worth of work. So maybe I would have been better off just buying a new piece, but where is the fun in that? It definitely wasn’t a perfect sanding job, but my fingers could barely grip the sander by the end of it so I finally just had to call it quits.

The post-sanding photo is the one I let you see in the post mentioned above. That was almost a year ago. It got cold and rainy after that so I had a difficult time finding a day when I wasn’t working and the weather was good. Because the sanding was so labor intensive I also imagined the staining process to be a major time commitment. So I put it off, telling myself in the spring I would pick it back up. It didn’t help that I put it next to the bed and started using it, though I did cover it with a sheet in an attempt to preserve my 10 hours of labor.

Spring came and went and still the nightstand stayed in its unstained condition. For my birthday (July) I told Adam I wanted him to buy me the stain and supplies to finish, as well as allow me a day to focus just on this project. My birthday came and went and finally in August we bought the needed supplies. In September I found myself home one day with beautiful weather and no plans. I declared that I would finish the night stand. Adam suggested I stain inside, rather than carrying the heavy piece outside, so I put down my drop cloth, opened all the windows, and started to stain.

Just as I was shocked by the 10 hours of sanding, I was equally shocked that it only took me about 30 minutes to apply a coat of stain. It went on smoothly didn’t even require a sanding between coats. I applied two coats and was grateful I picked the stain + polyurethane mix. After just 1 hour of work (with a few hours of wait time in between) the piece was almost complete! The hardware went on in minutes, and this is what I ended up with:

completeI still need to put the new drawer runners on, but cosmetically it is finished. I am so happy with the way it turned out, and even though it took me almost a year from start to finish I am glad I took on the project. I showed my in-laws when they came to visit last and my mother in law responded “well now I want it back!”



Have you worked on or completed any DIY projects recently? Tell me about it or link to your post in the comments. 


House Tour

I love looking at houses. I scour real estate sites almost daily and I have as many pins for my future home as I do for food. And I adore food.

My home is not perfect, and I feel it will always be a work in progress, but I also thought it would be fun to share it with those of you who may never see it in real life. I’ve been putting it off because I kept waiting for it to be perfect, but since I’ve accepted the fact that it won’t ever be perfect I’m going to go ahead and do a tour now. I can always come back and update as I change things, right? So here we go.

Welcome to our humble abode. Please come in and forgive us for the dirty door. I never noticed it until I saw this photo. One day I plan on putting a wreath on the door. Of course, I’ve been planning that for about a year now. My MIL made me a beautiful wreath for Christmas, but now I have to come up with something for the other eleven months.

Front Door

Once you come in you’ll go right up the stairs. No need to take off your shoes. And don’t worry- that ferocious barking is really just a friendly “hello” and an invitation to play.


When you get to the top of the stairs you will see the living area. The door at the top of the stairs is one of the doorways into the kitchen. Pretend I washed our stairs before I took the picture, okay? Thanks.

Living Room

The living room is a hodgepodge of old furniture. The chair was $10 from a thrift store (don’t fret if you have sat on this- it went through a few rounds of Lysol and vacuuming before we ever touched it). The couch was a gracious hand-me-down from Adam’s Aunt when we got married. It’s a sofa bed that we have used for many guests, though it is definitely showing the wear of two dogs and a husband who likes to sit in the same spot every time. The black cabinet is my favorite piece in the room and something I will actually keep for a long time.

Dining Area

Here you see our little dining area. I’d love to buy a new rug for under the table (I’ve had that black one since my second year in college). We’ve also been looking for a new table. This little round one was great for our last place, but we have space for a little bigger table and it would be nice to have a little more space when we play board games.


I love the windows in this room and how open it feels. About 3/4 of the year we have the windows open day and night. It helps air out the place and makes it almost feel like our home is an extension of outside. I love that.


Now follow me down the hallway. We’ll skip the kitchen today as it is almost never clean enough for photos. To the left we have a very large closet that Adam wants to use as a nursery some day. The doorway on the right is our bedroom, and straight ahead is the bathroom.

Hall Closet

Board games. We are big fans.




I’d love to show you my little desk area, but for the past three months it has been buried under a pile of junk. Maybe I’ll do a before and after photo to encourage me to clean it up.

See the little bedside table? That’s the piece I sanded down last fall and never got the chance to stain. When the stars align (i.e. when I’m off work, it’s sunny outside, and we have no plans) I will stain and finish it. Right now I’m trying not to put anything on it so I don’t ruin it!

Thanks for walking through with me! It’s no designer home, but it is comfortable and we love it here.

How have you found ways to make your house a home?